Chattanooga Lookouts starting pitcher Ethan Martin had another solid outing Sunday night at AT&T Field, but this one wasn't rewarded.
Martin struck out seven Jacksonville hitters in six innings, but the Suns made the most of the four hits and two walks he yielded to post a 4-3 victory before a crowd of 4,361. The loss was the first this season for the 22-year-old from Toccoa, Ga., who was the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.
"He threw the ball very well and pretty much did what he's done all year, but the score didn't turn out the same," Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim said. "He gave up two runs in the second inning on two miss-hit balls through the four hole, and that was really the crusher for him. I continue to be really pleased with Ethan. He's made great strides."
Martin became the last member of the rotation to suffer a setback, having entered Sunday with a 5-0 record. The Lookouts suffered a rare setback as well, dropping to 25-25 with just their third loss in the last 12 games.
After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Martin allowed a single to right, a walk and an RBI single to right to consecutive hitters in the second. Jeff Dominguez drove in the game's first run, and Donnie Webb followed with a sacrifice to right to put Jacksonville up 2-0.
Chattanooga pulled within 2-1 in the third inning when Matt Wallach led off with an infield hit and scored on a two-out wild pitch by Omar Povedo.
The Suns were retired in order in the third and fourth innings but got to Martin again in the fifth when Dominguez drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Webb's single to center. Webb scored moments later on a Daniel Black sacrifice to give the Suns a 4-1 lead.
"It feels good to have the season I'm having, but the team has picked me up in a lot of these games," Martin said. "I've just got to keep pushing and letting the guys behind me play. The walks hurt me tonight, and they are always going to hurt you."
The Lookouts had runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning and couldn't convert but pulled within 4-2 in the fifth on a Luis Nunez sacrifice that scored Nick Buss, who had tripled to right-center. They made it 4-3 in the sixth on a Jake Lemmerman single to center that scored Blake Smith.
Aaron Miller (3-4, 5.48) is scheduled to start for the Lookouts in tonight's 8:05 Eastern series opener at Birmingham, with Simon Castro (3-2, 4.26) scheduled for the Barons.
Eovaldi leaving again
Lookouts officials confirmed after the game that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to start for Ted Lilly on Tuesday when the Dodgers host Milwaukee. Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in nine games (eight starts) this season.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...